Who's who: Ian Baker-Finch

  • Torrey Pines - South course, host of the Farmers Insurance Open
  • Prince's GC, England
  • Torrey Pines - South course, host of the Farmers Insurance Open
  • Terras da Comporta, Dunas
  • Monte Rei G&CC
  • Marco Simone GC (Italy); host of the Ryder Cup 2023
  • Pebble Beach host of the US Open; US Women's Open; Pebble Beach Pro-Am
  • Marco Simone GC

Who's who: Ian Baker-Finch

  • Name:

    Ian Michael Baker-Finch
  • Country:

    Australia
  • Born:

    Oct 24, 1960 in Nambour, Queensland, Aus.
  • Original/Home Club:

    Beerwah GC, Queensland
  • Occupation:

    Professional golfer; TV commentator; golf course designer.
  • Turned Pro:

    1979

Roll of Honour

MAJORS (1): Open Championship (1991). Total professional wins (18), including Australasian Tour (11), Japan Tour (3), European Tour (2) and PGA Tour (2).

Golf course design

Baker-Finch's best known work includes, but is not limited to: Arabian Ranches, UAE (2001, with Nicklaus Design); Woodlands course, Bintan Lagoo, Indonesia (1997); Kennedy Bay, nr Perth, Aus (1998, with Michael Coate & Roger Mackay).

Did you know?

Baker-Finch began his professional career in style. In his first Australasian Tour event, the NZ Open, he recorded his first win. Regular wins on the Australasian Tour, with others in Europe, the US and Japan, culminated in his most memorable win at the 1991 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

Rather than his Open Championship victory being a springboard to further success, Baker-Finch's game went into a steady and accelerating decline over the next five years. An excellent game on the practice ground just refused to transfer to the golf course when it was needed. 50 great drives on the range would be followed by a snap-hook on the first tee. After shooting a 92 in the first round of the 1997 Open at Royal Troon, Baker-Finch quit tournament golf.

In place of grinding it out in tournaments, Baker-Finch has become a highly respected television broadcaster in the United States. He has also turned his hand to golf course design (IBF Design).

Top tournaments won by Ian Baker-Finch

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Baker-Finch, Ian

Score

274

Prize money

Title sponsor

Ford

Played as the Ford Australian PGA Ch'ship. Won by Ian Baker-Finch (Aus). [Concord GC, Sydney, Aus].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Baker-Finch, Ian

Score

276 (-12)

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Vines Classic (Jan 23-26; Aus Tr event). Second-placed Frank Nobilo (NZ) and Jeff Maggert (USA) finished 1 shot behind Ian Baker-Finch (Aus). [The Vines Resort & CC, nr Perth, Aus; composite of Lakes & Ellenbrook courses].

1991
Majors
272 (-8)
£90,000
R&A

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Baker-Finch, Ian

Score

272 (-8)

Prize money

£90,000

Title sponsor

R&A

The Open Championship (120th) (July 18-21). Second-placed Mike Harwood (Aus) finished 2 shots behind first-time major championship winner Baker-Finch (Aus). [Royal Birkdale GC, Southport, Merseyside].

1989
America
270 (-10)
$180,000
Southwestern Bell

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Baker-Finch, Ian

Score

270 (-10)

Prize money

$180,000

Title sponsor

Southwestern Bell

Played as the Southwestern Bell Colonial (May 18-21). Second-placed David Edwards (USA) finished 4 shots behind 28-year-old Ian Baker-Finch (Aus), who recorded his first PGA Tour win. [Colonial CC, Ft Worth, TX].

1988
Japan
Aso GC
282 (-6)
¥7.2million
Bridgestone

Category

Japan

Winner (holder)

Baker-Finch, Ian

Venue

Aso GC

Score

282 (-6)

Prize money

¥7.2million

Title sponsor

Bridgestone

Played as the Bridgestone Aso Open (Japan Tr event). Second-placed Tadami Ueno (Jpn) finished 1 shot behind Baker-Finch (Aus). [Aso GC, Aso, Kumamoto].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Baker-Finch, Ian

Score

278

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Australian Masters. Won by Ian Baker-Finch (Aus).

1985
Europe
274 (-14)
£21,477
Scandinavian Enterprise

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Baker-Finch, Ian

Venue

Ullna

Score

274 (-14)

Prize money

£21,477

Title sponsor

Scandinavian Enterprise

Played as the Scandinavian Enterprise Open (Aug 1-4). Second-placed Graham Marsh (Aus) finished 2 shots behind Baker-Finch (Aus), who recorded the first of his two European Tour wins. [Ullna GC, Åkersberga, nr Stockholm, Sweden].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Baker-Finch, Ian

Score

280 (E)

Prize money

NZ$18,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the New Zealand Open (Nov 24-27). Second-placed Stuart Reese (NZ) finished 3 shots behind 23-year-old Baker-Finch (Aus), who recorded his first win as a professional. [Royal Auckland & Grange GC, Papatoetoe, Auckland; at the time known as Auckland GC, Middlemore].

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Tournaments

Ryder Cup: Rome plays host to the first ever Ryder Cup to be staged in Italy, with the USA defending golf’s greatest team trophy at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club (Sept 29-Oct 1).

Solheim Cup: also in September, also in southern Europe, the 18th Solheim Cup will be contested at Finca Cortesin on the Costa del Sol, with Europe defending after their surprise win in Toledo, Inverness Club (Ohio) in 2021 (Sept 22-24). 

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Marco Simone Golf & Country Club

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club: With a clubhouse that might befit a Roman Emperor, and a golf course to match, you can be sure of a memorable outing at Rome's most talked about golf facility.

Jim Fazio's original layout was much changed to create a modern Ryder Cup course ... now one of the Eternal City's (and Italy's) most revered.

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